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LENI IS BACK FROM U.S. - VACATION ONLY 'BAD TIMING'
[RELATED EARLIER REPORT: Robredo
draws flak; supporters defend US vacation]


JANUARY 4 -Embattled Vice President Leni Robredo, who has been accused by her critics for being insensitive in going on a lavish vacation in the United States as Supertyphoon Nina hammered parts of the country including her home province, has finally come home from her holiday break. Robredo arrived in Manila unannounced on Monday from her week-long vacation in New York City where she spent Christmas and New Year’s Day with her children for a family reunion.Following the day of her arrival, Robredo visited her home town of Naga where she inspected the damages caused by the supertyphoon. Robredo told reporters in Naga yesterday that her vacation in the US was just “a case of bad timing.” Robredo said that she wanted to return to the country, but the only flights they could book were scheduled to depart on New Year’s Eve. However, her air tickets bought in Manila must have ha a confirmed flight for her and her childrens return. Presumably, her return flight was booked for January 2, after the holidays, which return flight arrives in January 3. “I felt really bad while I was [in the US] and something was happening here. The timing was bad. I feel bad that I was not [in Bicol] when [Typhoon Nina struck],” Robredo said. READ MORE...RELATED IN EARLIER REPORT. Robredo draws flak; supporters defend US vacation...

ALSO LEAKED EMAILS: ‘Leni’s Fil-Am backers plotting vs Duterte’ [RELATED: Office of the Vice President caught at the center of an int’l propaganda machine]


JANUARY 8 -Nicolas-Lewis
FILIPINO-American supporters of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo are allegedly behind efforts to undermine President Rodrigo Duterte, leaked emails posted online by bloggers showed. The leaked emails, first posted by the “Thinking Pinoy” blog on Friday, showed exchanges between members of the “Global Filipino Diaspora Council” (GFDC) including billionaire philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis and her sister, former Commission on Filipinos Overseas chairwoman Imelda “Mely” Nicolas, both Robredo supporters. In one of the emails, dated December 4 or the day Robredo announced her resignation from the Duterte Cabinet, Lewis supposedly told GFDC members: “The only way to fight this evil plot to unseat VP Leni is to ask Duterte to resign. After all, he promised to resign in six months if he has not solved the drug epidemic in the Philippines.” “He asked for an extension of another six months. Extension denied! Join Duterte Resign Movement,” the email said. It provided a link to a change.org petition calling on the President to quit. READ MORE...RELATED,  Office of the Vice President caught at the center of an int’l propaganda machine...

ALSO Robredo: No need for me to explain #LeniLeaks; VP finds allegation ‘ridiculous’ [RELATED: What Manila Bulletin followers think about #LeniLeaks] [RELATED(2)  Robredo - Oust the president movement not good for PHL
[RELATED(3) Robredo - I never joined a rally calling for Duterte ouster]


JANUARY 8 -MB FILE—President Rodrigo Duterte talks with Vice President Leni Robredo during a full military honors for Duterte at the AFP Change of Command Rites held at the General Headquarters Grandstand in Camp Aquinaldo, Quezon City on July 1, 2016. (Richard V. Viñas) | MANILA BULLETIN
Vice President Leni Robredo seemed to dismiss the controversy about the alleged leaked emails posted online that seemed to show she is part of a well-orchestrated plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. In a late afternoon speech at the Ateneo Student Leaders’ Assembly Homecoming on Sunday, January 8, Robredo said, “Most of the things thrown at me are purely ridiculous.” “Papatulan ko ba iyon lahat? (Shall I address all these) when there is a goal I have to reach: a mandate I have to perform?” There was no attempt on her to explain the leaked emails. “As long as you focus yourself in your goal, alam mo in your heart that you won’t lose sight of what you believe in, okay na iyon,” she said. READ MORE...RELATED, What Manila Bulletin followers think about #LeniLeaks...RELATED(2)
 Robredo - Oust the president movement not good for PHL.. RELATED(3) Robredo - I never joined a rally calling for Duterte ouster...

ALSO: Liberal Party tagged in Jaybee prison slay attempt
[RELATED: Kerwin Espinosa appears at DOJ to affirm claim of drug payoffs to De Lima]

[RELATED(2): Leila says only Ombudsman has jurisdiction over her cases]
[RELATED(3): Trillanes links to Sebastian probed: Witness implicates senator in NBP plot]



JANUARY 5 -Tomas Doniña, the inmate who stabbed Sebastian during a supposed riot inside Building 14 of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)’s maximum security compound on Sept. 28 last year, referred to the LP in his confession. Philstar.com/File
The Liberal Party (LP) has been implicated in the reported attempt to kill high-value inmate Jaybee Sebastian. Tomas Doniña, the inmate who stabbed Sebastian during a supposed riot inside Building 14 of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)’s maximum security compound on Sept. 28 last year, referred to the LP in his confession. Doniña mentioned the LP in his five-page affidavit where he also implicated Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV. In his affidavit dated Oct. 8, 2016 released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) only yesterday, Doniña revealed that the order to kill Sebastian came from a former fellow officer in the Philippine Navy whom he did not name. READ MORE...RELATED, Kerwin Espinosa appears at DOJ to affirm claim of drug payoffs to De Lima...RELATED(2),
Leila says only Ombudsman has jurisdiction over her cases...RELATED(3) Trillanes links to Sebastian probed: Witness implicates senator in NBP plot...

ALSO:
DOJ chief fakes even his own hair - De Lima

[RELATED: Aguirre asks De Lima: Why so fixated on my hair?]

[RELATED(2): De Lima hits Kerwin’s admission to WPP]
[RELATED(3): Trillanes links probed - Witness implicates senator in NBP plot]
[RELATED(4): De Lima asks Duterte: How much have you spent in persecuting me?]


JANUARY 5 -De Lima said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who had accused her and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of instigating the riot to stop some inmates from testifying, should be the one held accountable as the NBP is under his supervision. Philstar.com/File MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Leila de Lima refuted yesterday allegations that she was behind the riot at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in September last year that left one high-value inmate dead and injured several other convicts, who later testified against her in a congressional inquiry over her alleged involvement in the drug trade in NBP. De Lima said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who had accused her and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of instigating the riot to stop some inmates from testifying, should be the one held accountable as the NBP is under his supervision. READ MORE..RELATED,
Aguirre asks De Lima: Why so fixated on my hair?... RELATED(2) De Lima hits Kerwin’s admission to WPP... RELATED(3) Trillanes links probed - Witness implicates senator in NBP plot... RELATED(4) De Lima asks Duterte: How much have you spent in persecuting me? ...

ALSO: De Lima, Trillanes tag Rody behind NBP plot
[RELATED: Kerwin: Leila got P8-m drug payoff]


JANUARY 5 -The anti-Duterte duo in the Senate, Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV saw a Palace conspiracy in their being tagged as the real culprits behind the attempt on the life of high-profile convict Jaybee Sebastian in allegedly staging a riot inside the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) last September.De Lima even pointed to Mr. Duterte as the official really behind the plot to silence Sebastian.
Asked by reporters who could have been out to silence Sebastian, de Lima did not mince words in pointing to the President, saying that the alleged plot was actually just to soften up the convict who was initially adamant against testifying against her in the House investigations into the NBP narcotics scandal.“It was the President himself. That would not have happened without the blessing from above or through his operators. He has enforcers. He has operators. So I would like to ask how much have you (Duterte) spent in your campaign to satisfy your obsession of me?” she asked.“All those making up the stories against me and led by no less than our President who had indicated that he wanted me destroyed and that I will surely land in jail, that I am the drug trade queen and the leading narco-politician,” she said.
READ MORE...

ALSO: Sotto once again assures fair ethics probe on De Lima
[RELATED: Senate may convene committee of the whole over ethics complaint vs Leila–Sotto]



JANUARY 5 -Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Thursday again assured fairness in handling the ethics complaints against Senator Leila de Lima. “As chair, I will make sure we are fair,” Sotto said in a text message when sought for comment over De Lima’s remarks that colleagues who are “hostile” to her should “inhibit” from the ethics probe. Sotto is the chairman of the Senate ethics committee. “To inhibit work both ways, let’s ask friendlies to inhibit too?” Sotto added. On Wednesday, De Lima said some senators have shown “hostility” against her inside and outside the Senate. De Lima said she was hoping that members of the ethics panel, where she is facing three complaints, will hear her side. READ MORE...RELATED,
Committee of the whole may tackle De Lima ethics case–Sotto...


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Leni’s vacation only ‘bad timing’

MANILA, JANUARY 9, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Wires Wednesday, 04 January 2017 - Embattled Vice President Leni Robredo, who has been accused by her critics for being insensitive in going on a lavish vacation in the United States as Supertyphoon Nina hammered parts of the country including her home province, has finally come home from her holiday break.

Robredo arrived in Manila unannounced on Monday from her week-long vacation in New York City where she spent Christmas and New Year’s Day with her children for a family reunion.

Following the day of her arrival, Robredo visited her home town of Naga where she inspected the damages caused by the supertyphoon.

Robredo told reporters in Naga yesterday that her vacation in the US was just “a case of bad timing.” Robredo said that she wanted to return to the country, but the only flights they could book were scheduled to depart on New Year’s Eve.

However, her air tickets bought in Manila must have ha a confirmed flight for her and her childrens return. Presumably, her return flight was booked for January 2, after the holidays, which return flight arrives in January 3.

“I felt really bad while I was [in the US] and something was happening here. The timing was bad. I feel bad that I was not [in Bicol] when [Typhoon Nina struck],” Robredo said.

READ MORE...

“We were supposed to return on January 3. The earliest return flight we could book was on New Year’s Eve, so we only flew back home on that day. It was hard to look for and book five tickets. I was with my three daughters and my 80-year-old grandmother,” she said.

SPECULATIONS

Robredo’s purpose of her vist to the US, unfortunately, is still being speculated by many as having meetings with certain officials who appear bent on getting rid of President Duterte through alleged plots to unseat him, mostly due to the President’s animosity toward longtime ally the United States, with which the Philippines has a defense pact, as well as his independent foreign policy that, to the United States government, the policy is a shift from the US to China and Russia.

Also the Manila Times exposed a “plan of action” for the political opposition to unhinge Mr. Duterte from his presidential seat, which is supposedly authored by former US envoy to the Philippines, Phillip Goldberg, with whom the Philippine president had a verbal joust.

Among the details in the Goldberg plan are the following, some of which the political opposition known as the Yellows led by Robredo, appear to be doing.

GOLDBERG PLOT

The Goldberg “plot” details, among others, are the deepening of ties with Philippine opposition officials, the police/military, and regional leaders who share American concerns over President Rody Duterte;

Using the media to “expose the truth about Duterte, his false vision for the people and his dangerous international relationships with China and Russia;”

Changing the political landscape by dividing Duterte’s core leadership by “sowing discontent among his partymates.” with some of his allies already privately expressing concern over his shift in foreign policy and the twists in his economic and social agenda veering toward the Left;

Stoking the fire between the defenders of the rule of law and Duterte’s leftist group” by highlighting the demands of the Left to release all political prisoners even before a formal peace agreement is signed between the government and the CPP/NDF/NPA, and an end to US military presence in the Philippines;

The monitoring of cases of corruption, one of supposed main planks of Duterte’s reform platform and highlight his failures; and, focusing on people’s needs at the grassroots and help opposition groups deliver on those failed promises through US AID – such as in poverty-alleviation, housing and education.”

Part of the Goldberg plot is reportedly to pressure neighboring countries so they would turn against Duterte by reducing trade with the Philippines in favor of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

The last of the part of Goldberg’s plot is to “enhance US military relationship with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations except the Philippines which is gravitating toward China and Russia despite its treaty alliance with the US.”

Netizens blast Leni

As Robredo was enjoying her New York vacation, scores of netizens, particularly staunch Duterte supporters and bloggers, hammered the Vice President for allegedly being insensitive by spending the holiday season on foreign soil when many provinces have been badly damaged by supertyphoon Nina.

A pro-Duterte blogger, operating under the alias “Thinking Pinoy,” slammed Robredo for going on vacation, implying insensitivity on her part as Vice President towards Filipinos during times of calamity.

“Millions of poor, innocent Filipino lives are at risk, while the country’s Vice President is too busy enjoying a White Christmas,” the blogger said.

The blogger also lashed out at Robredo for her alleged hypocrisy in her coordination with relief efforts in hard hit areas.

“Is Leni so busy that she cannot even spare two minutes to record a message of consolation for Nina’s victims?” the blogger said.

The widespread outrage by netizens has led the Vice President’s camp to go on damage control during the holiday break, dismissing the criticisms being hurled at Robredo.

Robredo’s spokesman Georgina Hernandez defended the Vice President’s US trip, claiming that it was already planned more than a year ago.

Hernandez said Robredo traveled to the US with her children for a family reunion.

Hernandez added that Robredo has been monitoring the situation in her home province while on vacation. She also said that once Robredo returns to the country, she would travel to her home province Naga which has been hammered by the super typhoon.

More Filipinos dissatisfied with Leni’s performance

While on vacation, Robredo saw that more Filipinos have expressed dissatisfaction with her performance as the second-highest executive official of the country.

According to a nationwide poll by Social Weather Stations (SWS), Robredo’s net satisfaction rating dropped to +37. Robredo suffered a 12-point decrease from her previous net satisfaction rating of +49 recorded in September.

Respondents who were satisfied in Robredo’s performance dropped from 65 percent to 58 percent, while those who were dissatisfied increased from 16 percent to 21-percent, resulting in the current net satisfaction rating of +37.

Despite the slump, SWS still considers Robredo’s net satisfaction rating as “good.” SWS said the “good” rating ranges from +30 to +49. The SWS poll has a margin of error of +/-3 percent.

SWS conducted the poll on December 3 to 6, amid the fallout of Robredo’s resignation from her Cabinet post as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). Robredo resigned as HUDCC chair after she was ordered by President Duterte to desist from attending Cabinet meetings.

Following Robredo’s resignation, she was hailed as the new face of the opposition.

Robredo has been accused by Duterte’s allies and supporters of allegedly collaborating with the “Yellows” or elements of the Liberal Party to oppose and destabilize the Duterte administration.

Robredo has repeatedly denied the accusations.

------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Robredo draws flak; supporters defend US vacation BY LLANESCA T. PANTI, TMT ON DECEMBER 26, 2016 TOP STORIES

CRITICS on Sunday slammed Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo for spending the holidays on a “multi-state” vacation with her three daughters in the US, as thousands of her fellow Bicolanos fled their homes because of a typhoon.

Blogger “Thinking Pinoy,” a diehard supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, accused the vice president of abandoning her fellow Bicolanos ahead of a calamity.

“A supertyphoon is about to hit Bicol in a few hours. Can Leni realistically tell Bicolanos, sorry, I can’t be your
leader today because I’m too heartbroken. If Naga indeed brings back too many painful memories, there’s Pili, there’s Iriga, there’s Daet, there are too many drastically cheaper alternatives to a vacation in the United States,” the blog post read.

The vice president and her daughters were said to have stopped spending Christmas in their hometown Naga since her husband, interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo, died in a plane crash in August 2012.

“Someone said Leni Robredo went on a Christmas vacation in the United States because spending the holidays in Naga City brings back too many painful memories of the late Jesse Robredo. I personally wouldn’t have cared where she spends her holidays, but last time I checked, she’s all for modesty of public servants,” the blog pointed out.

MULTI-STATE VACATION IN US

“A multi-state vacation in the United States doesn’t come cheap. She takes a bus to and from work, but she spends hundreds of thousands (or even millions) during her days off? What if she ditched her opulent vacation and used the money for domestic plane fare so she can spend less time traveling and more time listening to her constituents?” it added.

Another Duterte diehard blogger, Mocha Uson, ridiculed the vice president’s vacation.

“White Christmas for Madam. Bicol Region will be hit by a typhoon and she (Robredo) is having a vacation in the United States,” Uson wrote in her Facebook post.

But for Facebook user Claudia Gomez, the bloggers should stop making mountains out of molehills because Christmas is a time for people to spend quality time with their loved ones.

“Why are you overreacting? If she wants to spend her holidays with her family and sister in the US, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone’s entitled to spend the holidays with their family, same as you and everyone else,” Gomez said in the comments section of the Mocha Uson blog.


Mocha Uson.  dancer-turned-blogger Mocha Uson now appointed board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ JOAN BONDOC -

Gomez argued that the vice president cannot stop a typhoon, and that local government units are the ones responsible in looking after their constituents. Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Villafuerte and Naga Mayor John Bongat are on top of the situation and have evacuated people to safety, she added.

Gomez then decried the bloggers’ double standards, since they did not make a fuss over the President’s big delegation of about 100 people during his recent foreign trips.

“Imee and Bongbong Marcos were with President Duterte in China even if the typhoon ‘Lawin,’ much stronger than Nina, has been battering their hometown in Ilocos Norte and yet you did not complain about that. Be fair,” she added.

Imee is the Ilocos Norte governor and Bongbong is defeated vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Facebook users Daniel Jaime, Josh Siat and Jessica Bathan shared Gomez’s sentiments, noting that the President’s supporters did not cry foul when Philippine National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa was in the United States to watch the boxing fight of Sen. Manny Pacquiao in the middle of the investigation of the police killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

“You guys are so unforgiving, even in Christmas. Government officials are not banned [from having]a vacation with their family,” Jaime commented.

Bathan wrote: “Mocha Uson, you are so petty. Bato was in the US for Pacquiao fight and everybody deserves a vacation. But when it is the vice president having a vacation, suddenly it is not okay?”


MANILA TIMES

LEAKED EMAILS: ‘Leni’s Fil-Am backers plotting vs Duterte’ BY LLANESCA T. PANTI, TMT ON JANUARY 8, 2017 HEADLINES


Nicolas-Lewis

FILIPINO-American supporters of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo are allegedly behind efforts to undermine President Rodrigo Duterte, leaked emails posted online by bloggers showed.

The leaked emails, first posted by the “Thinking Pinoy” blog on Friday, showed exchanges between members of the “Global Filipino Diaspora Council” (GFDC) including billionaire philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis and her sister, former Commission on Filipinos Overseas chairwoman Imelda “Mely” Nicolas, both Robredo supporters.

In one of the emails, dated December 4 or the day Robredo announced her resignation from the Duterte Cabinet, Lewis supposedly told GFDC members: “The only way to fight this evil plot to unseat VP Leni is to ask Duterte to resign. After all, he promised to resign in six months if he has not solved the drug epidemic in the Philippines.”

“He asked for an extension of another six months. Extension denied! Join Duterte Resign Movement,” the email said. It provided a link to a change.org petition calling on the President to quit.

READ MORE...

Another leaked email, supposedly from lawyer Ted Laguatan, claimed protests against Duterte were gaining ground. The email was dated November 21 or amid protests against the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

“This plan is going even better than I expected. We, on our part outside the Philippines are doing our part in holding rallies everywhere,” it said.

It also asked the GFDC to reach out to the student councils of UP, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University and other schools, as well as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to mobilize priests and nuns.

“Thanks for fighting a genuinely sacred fight,” it added.

An email from “Mely” replied: “Let us continue to keep each other abreast of what’s happening from both sides of the ocean.”

Sought for comment, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., who alerted Malacañang of the supposed anti-Duterte activities of Filipino-American groups last September, said: “A picture is worth more than a thousand words.”

“Let the picture speak for itself and draw your own conclusions from it,” he said.

Robredo did not address the supposed leaked emails on Saturday, but in response to a question from the press in Iloilo on her supposed involvement in a plot to unseat Duterte, she said: “Ako naniniwala ako na hindi makakabuti sa bansa natin na gumawa na naman tayo ng mga ‘oust the President’ movement [I believe it is not good for the country for us to organize ‘oust the President’ movements].”

Trolls vs Marcos

Another email, this time from the Office of the Vice President’s social media unit and dated January 4, instructed “trolls” to launch an online counterattack against Duterte, defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and a number of social media personalities.

The counterattack was supposedly meant as a response to pro-Marcos and pro-Duterte groups and “influencers” such as the blogs of “Thinking Pinoy” and “Maharlika,” newly appointed censors board member Mocha Uson, Sass Rogando Sassot and a “Mr. Riyoh” who have criticized Robredo for vacationing in the US as Typhoon “Nina” hit her home region of Bicol on Christmas Day.

“The BBM (Bongbong Marcos) camp has released several memes to have a ‘show of force’. Their messaging is to make their memes viral to make it appear like more people voted for BBM as the real VP. Our attack: Flip the memes and show unflattering pictures with controversies of BBM and use their ‘the real VP’ narrative,” the supposed email from the vice president’s social media team read.

“[We should] use the photos of BBM supporters during the Luneta rally and/or Duterte youth during the Marcos burial rally. The messaging should be: they’re numerous online, but they never deliver the real bodies needed when the battle is offline. They are a fake and paid army,” it claimed.

“We would also like to request you and your communities to coordinate with us whenever a new campaign is launched for them and/or against her (Robredo),” it added.

The same email also defended Robredo’s efforts for typhoon victims by saying that her team was mobilized even before the typhoon hit, and that she organized private efforts to donate to typhoon-hit Bicol, Marinduque, Batangas and Mindoro.

“The dissatisfaction with VP Leni does not come from Bikolanos. It comes from troll influencers (Mocha, Sass, Thinking Pinoy) who never organized or mobilized efforts to help out the typhoon victims. VP Leni cannot shoulder everything. The national government (and other agencies such as DSWD) is the one who needs to step up,” it added.

The Office of the Vice President has yet to respond to queries in connection with the supposedly leaked emails.

--------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

OVP caught at the center of an int’l propaganda machine 1402 SHARES Share it! Published January 8, 2017, 9:16 PM By The Manila Bulletin Reportorial Team

Social media was going overdrive over the weekend with the leakage of the alleged emails emanating from the Office of the Vice President (OVP) detailing its alleged international propaganda campaign to discredit both President Rodrigo Duterte and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

The so-called “LeniLeaks” spilled the supposed correspondence in a restricted Yahoo! group called Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) that seemed to show that the OVP is part of the group’s well-orchestrated strategy to discredit President Duterte in the international scene.


Vice President Leni Robredo. (Mark Balmores) | mb.com.ph

Thinking Pinoy (TP), a personal political blog of a Filipino citizen journalist, chanced upon the restricted Yahoo! group when it went public, based on a tip.

“One of Sass Rogando Sasot’s Facebook followers informed her about the yahoo group and Sass Sasot relayed that tip to me,” Thinking Pinoy said in an exclusive interview with the Manila Bulletin.

“It took me two days to browse through the contents of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council’s Yahoo! group. I released an article soon thereafter,” TP added.

A quick look at the article showed that it has been shared on Facebook over 49,700 times as of 12:19 a.m. of January 8. Likes are hard to count because the total number of shares comes from different Facebook accounts.

EMAILS

In one of the emails purportedly from a Pete Silva of the OVP Social Media (SocMed) dated January 3, 2017, it was alleged that supporters and influencers of President Duterte (PRRD in the leaks) and Bongbong Marcos (BBM) have launched simultaneous attacks against VP Leni Robredo starting at 12 midnight of the same day and called for immediate action “from our communities.”

It cited Robredo’s belated visit to the victims of Typhoon Nina and her statement that the “rehab is slow” and how she is being attacked for saying it when she was not even there.

The same email listed a series of responses (A to E): she (Robredo) has always been on top of things, she does not have the mandate and financial capacity to do this, she cannot shoulder everything, rehabilitation is different from relief operations, and to compare the visits of Duterte and Robredo, pointing out that Duterte “just gave a speech for the ceremonial giving of donations” and did not go to the far flung areas the way the VP did. “She is on ground zero.”

SECOND EMAIL

The second item contained in the email referred to the BBM camp’s release of several memes to have a “show of force”. The email said: Their messaging is to make their memes viral to make it appear like more people voted for BBM as the real VP.

“Our attack: flip the memes and show unflattering pictures with controversies of BBM—cocaine addict, fake diploma, did not graduate college (sic), Sandro is stupid—not even from Oxford as they are claiming,” the email indicated.

The second mode of attack, according to the leaked email, was to call out BBM and ask where he was during Typhoon Nina. The third was to use photos of BBM supporters during the Luneta rally with the message: “they’re numerous online, but they never deliver the real bodies needed when the battle is offline. They are a fake and paid army.”

LEAKS SERIOUS; TO BE INVESTIGATED

National secruity adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the so-called leaks are serious.

“I have to get deeper into it. It need not be discussed in the Cabinet meeting though as there are more important matters to discuss,” he said.

“First is the authenticity of the leak. I want to give some benefit of the doubt, but there is very high likelihood that the conversations/exchange of notes really transpired,” Esperon added.

Supporters of President Duterte are questioning the rationale of the so-called international propaganda machine being run by those opposed to the current administration.

“PRRD they said failed in his campaign promise to eradicate illegal drugs in three months. I think the electorate voted for him not because of the three-month timeline. They simply wanted their president/leader to forcefully address the illegal drugs, realizing, and perhaps annoyed that the then incumbent president was not concerned about it,” they pointed out.

CITIZENS OF OTHER COUNTRIES

“The participants in the exchanges are citizens in the Americas. Didn’t they know of the lingering decades-old drug problems in their turf? Are they really after solving problems in a country that is no longer their country? Or they simply cannot come to terms with the reality that the candidate they supported lost resoundingly?” they added.

Esperon said there could be liabilities. “Citizens of other countries destabilizing the Philippines would be violating laws,” he pointed out.

TP, when tipped off about the existence of the Yahoo group, tried to verify the information contained therein. “I back-read posts and I saw messages from as far back as 2012. It’s hard—if not impossible—to make up that kind of material, as that would entail hacking through Yahoo’s servers, and Filipinos are not really famous for high-level hacking skills.”

Known be pro-Duterte, TP, when asked what his end goal is, said: “The truth. That’s it. If they can find even a sliver of falsehood in any of my articles, they are free to point it out and I will issue an erratum. That has been my style since I started ThinkingPinoy and I have issued three errata so far.”

In the web of propaganda being peddled here and abroad, TP said there are more “hair-raising revelations” that will be exposed soon.

“I cannot say for now because I do not want their side to learn what we’re doing until it’s already done. Sun Tzu once said, “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”


ESPERON

Asked if he could categorically say that Robredo is part and fully aware of an ouster plot, TP answered: “I wouldn’t categorically say that, but the information from the group, plus Robredo’s ultra-secret US holiday trip, is enough to raise suspicion, and that is why I advise the government to look into it. But then, Leni and Loida are very close: the latter has funded even her 2013 congressional campaign, so it would be difficult for me believe that she has no idea about what’s going on.

TP (THINKING PINOY BLOGGER)

TP said the major players in the so-called “#LeniLeaks” are Fil-Am billionaire lobbyist and Liberal Party supporter Loida Nicolas-Lewis, her sister Imelda Nicolas (head of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas), CFO commissioner Jose Molano Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer U.S. Bureau correspondent Ted Liguatan, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau correspondent Gene Alcantara and influential North E.U. civil society leader Filomenita Hogsholm.

LEWIS EMAILS ON MESSAGE BOARDS

Among them, the most active on the message boards is Imelda “Mely” Nicolas, while the most influential is her sister Loida.

There are 5,000 messages, the most damning would be:

1. Imelda Nicolas’ email showing OVP has a hand in controlling the socmed convo. It was corroborated by a post from the “EDUCATORS FOR LENI ROBREDO” fb group

2. Lewis’ instructions to a certain Ely N., telling the latter to call her in relation to Leni’s “Legal defense” GFDC’s active solicitation of support from Private universities,

3. GFDC was proud to claim UP ADMU DLSU agreed to support them, i.e. a GFDC member said the universities can provide warm bodies for the Marcos protest

4. Loida’s call for members to lobby sa UN mismo for the blocking of Teddy Boy Locsin’s appointment

The vice president has already dismissed the controversy as “purely ridiculous.”

Read more: Robredo: No need for me to explain #LeniLeaks

Prior to the #LeniLeaks controversy, Robredo has been accused of supporting efforts to oust Duterte, which the vice president had repeatedly denied.

The Manila Bulletin, on its Facebook page, asked its followers’ opinion about #LeniLeaks. It has garnered more than 2,600 comments as of this posting.

Read more: What Manila Bulletin followers think about #LeniLeaks


MANILA BULLETIN

Robredo: No need for me to explain #LeniLeaks Vice president finds allegation ‘ridiculous’ 6236 SHARES Share it! Updated January 8, 2017, 7:19 PM By Raymund Antonio


MB FILE—President Rodrigo Duterte talks with Vice President Leni Robredo during a full military honors for Duterte at the AFP Change of Command Rites held at the General Headquarters Grandstand in Camp Aquinaldo, Quezon City on July 1, 2016. (Richard V. Viñas) | MANILA BULLETIN

Vice President Leni Robredo seemed to dismiss the controversy about the alleged leaked emails posted online that seemed to show she is part of a well-orchestrated plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a late afternoon speech at the Ateneo Student Leaders’ Assembly Homecoming on Sunday, January 8, Robredo said, “Most of the things thrown at me are purely ridiculous.”

“Papatulan ko ba iyon lahat? (Shall I address all these) when there is a goal I have to reach: a mandate I have to perform?”

There was no attempt on her to explain the leaked emails. “As long as you focus yourself in your goal, alam mo in your heart that you won’t lose sight of what you believe in, okay na iyon,” she said.

READ MORE...

Before Robredo’s speech, the Office of the Vice President was tightlipped about the so-called #LeniLeaks that emerged over the weekend.

On its Facebook page, blogger “The Thinking Pinoy” shared the leaked emails of the members of a Yahoo! group that called themselves as Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC).

“The only way to fight this evil plot to unseat VP Leni is to ask Duterte to resign. After all, he promised to resign in six months if he has not solved the drug epidemic in the Philippines,” the email read. “He asked for an extension of another six months. Extension denied! Join Duterte Resign Movement.”

Another leaked email said: “This plan is going even better than I expected. We, on our part outside the Philippines are doing our part in holding rallies everywhere.”

Allegations of the ouster plot on Duterte caused a social media firestorm with the trending hashtag #LeniLeaks.

Netizens scored Robredo’s camp for keeping mum about the issue, but the OVP maintained its silence on the leaked emails even amid calls to shed light on #LeniLeaks.

Robredo also did not categorically address the supposed leaked emails when interviewed by local media in Iloilo on Saturday.

But Robredo, who resigned from the Cabinet as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, disputed allegations anew that she is involved in any ouster plot against Duterte.

“This oust Duterte [movement], I’m sure that I’m not part of it if there is such plan,” the vice president said.

“I believe that it would not be good for the country when we carry out another oust the president movement.”

PRESIDENT MISINFORMED

The former housing chief reiterated that she did not join any protest rallies calling for Duterte’s removal from office.

Robredo reiterated the president was misinformed.

“Before I don’t know what the reason, but when the president was interviewed last Christmas, he said that I was a part of rallies to oust him. That is not true, I did not join any rally,” she said.

On November 25 and 30 last year, Robredo recalled that she had been invited to join anti-Marcos burial rallies, but she deliberately did not take part on the protest actions “in deference to the president” because she was a member of the Cabinet.

She sought to clarify anew that her criticisms of the president such as that against extrajudicial killings in the country are not tantamount to calls for his removal from office.

“For me, the intention of my criticism is for our president to listen to us on issues we feel strongly about, like extrajudicial killings. But my criticisms are not tantamount for his ouster.”

Assistant presidential communications secretary Ana Marie Banaag said the Palace will respect the statement of the vice president.

Banaag said it was up to Robredo to convince the people that she has no involvement in the alleged plot to oust Duterte. (With a report from Genalyn Kabiling)

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

What Manila Bulletin followers think about #LeniLeaks 20111 SHARES Share it! Updated January 8, 2017, 9:16 PM By MB Online

Allegations of a plot to denigrate and eventually unseat the president surfaced anew on social media with the trending hashtag “#LeniLeaks.”

This refers to the discovery of supposed correspondence in a “restricted” Yahoo group called Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) that seemed to show that the Office of the Vice President is part of the group’s well-orchestrated strategy to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte and former senator Bongbong Marcos in the international scene. Marcos is challenging the electoral victory of incumbent vice president Leni Robredo.

Read more: OVP caught at the center of an int’l propaganda machine

The vice president has already dismissed the controversy as “purely ridiculous.”

Read more: Robredo: No need for me to explain #LeniLeaks

Prior to the #LeniLeaks controversy, Robredo has been accused of supporting efforts to oust Duterte, which the vice president had repeatedly denied.

The Manila Bulletin, on its Facebook page, asked its followers’ opinion about #LeniLeaks. It has garnered more than 2,600 comments as of this posting. We selected the most sensible comments.

An overwhelming majority of the respondents opined that the government should look into the #LeniLeaks controversy, seeing that the allegations merit an act of treason.

Some, on the other hand, do not believe the statements are seditious or that Robredo could do this. One even believe it’s a plot of Marcos to discredit the vice president.

The post continues to elicit comments from MB followers. To post a reaction, click here.

A word of caution: Keep language clean and no spamming or posts will be moderated accordingly.
(Comments collated by Ronnie Punzalan and Pam Rances, MB Social Media)

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RELATED(2) GMA NEWS NETWORK

Robredo: Oust the president movement not good for PHL Published January 7, 2017


Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday said plots to oust President Rodrigo Duterte are not good for the country.

"Ako naniniwala ako na hindi makakabuti sa bansa natin ana gumawa na naman tayo ng mga oust the president movement," Robredo said during his visit in Lambunao, Iloilo.

Robredo made the statement as she reiterated that she has nothing to do with plans to oust Duterte.

She clarified that her criticisms against extrajudicial killings in the country does not mean that she wanted Duterte to be removed from office.

"Ang sa akin po, ang pag criticize ko ang pagnanais noon, na pakinggan tayo ng ating Pangulo tungkol sa mga bagay na we feel so strongly about, gaya ng extra judicial killings. Pero iyong pag criticize kasi pagpuna, hindi iyon tantamount to tanggalin siya," she said.

READ MORE...

She reiterated that Duterte had been misinformed about her supposed involvement in anti-Duterte protests late last year.

Robredo clarified that she did not join any protest actions, asking for Duterte's eviction from office.

"...when the President was interviewed last Christmas, sinabi niya na I was part of rallies to oust him. Iyon po wala iyong katotohanan - wala akong sinalihan na kahit anong rally," she said.

Robredo said that she had been invited to join anti-Marcos burial rallies last November, but she declined "in deference to the president" because she was a member of the Cabinet.

The vice president quit the Cabinet as Housing secretary after Duterte ordered her to stop attending Cabinet meetings in early December. —ALG, GMA News

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RELATED(3) FROM RAPPLER.COM

Robredo: I never joined a rally calling for Duterte ouster Rappler.com Published 6:05 PM, December 30, 2016 Updated 8:38 PM, December 30, 2016

Vice President Leni Robredo tells President Rodrigo Duterte to stop imagining plots against him


CRITICISMS ARE NECESSARY. Vice-President Leni Robredo tells President Rodrigo Duterte to stop imagining plots against him. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo denied she is involved in any plot against President Rodrigo Duterte nor has she attended protest rallies calling for his ouster even as she has openly criticized his policies.

"I am not aware of, much less am I involved in, any effort to 'oust' the President. Furthermore, I categorically deny joining rallies that called for the President's ouster," Robredo said in a statement on Friday, December 30.

Robredo said Duterte should stop imagining plots against him. "Criticism is not conspiracy, and the administration is well advised to stop seeing 'plots' behind every unflattering news report, irate citizens' assembly, or angry Facebook post," she said.

DUTERTE AT INTERVIEW

Duterte told GMA News in an interview on Thursday, December 29, that he is not likely to give Robredo another Cabinet position because of her supposed participation in anti-Duterte protests.

"You are there, and you are part of the crowd. You may not really be asking for it, but you are part of the crowd who says want me out," Duterte elaborated in a separate interview with CNN Philippines on the same day.

Robredo, who opposed the burial of the late Philippine Dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, attended an event at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani to honor Martial Law Victims. It made Palace officials uncomfortable, but Robredo said it was "not an action against the administration."

Robredo said she does not support calls to oust the President, but she believes that criticisms against Duterte and his administration are necessary.

"To my understanding, many criticisms of the President have come about as a reaction to his own actions and statements – the Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani, the ongoing extrajudicial killings, the proposed restoration of the death penalty, and the retreat from our West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) claims, among others," Robredo said.

"It is the right of every citizen in our democracy to express her opinion, and this includes those critical of or in opposition to an incumbent government. This principle is a cornerstone of our free Republic," she added.

Robredo resigned as housing chief earlier this month after she was ordered to stop attending Cabinet meetings. Malacanang officials cited "irreconcilable differences" behind Duterte's orders.

Aside from the US, Malacañang has singled out Robredo's party, the Liberal Party (LP), for supposedly plotting against Duterte. The US and LP have repeatedly denied the allegation.

(READ: PH stirs talk of US plot vs Duterte ahead of Trump inauguration) – Lian Buan/Rappler.com


PHILSTAR

Liberal Party tagged in Jaybee slay attempt By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 5, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Tomas Doniña, the inmate who stabbed Sebastian during a supposed riot inside Building 14 of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)’s maximum security compound on Sept. 28 last year, referred to the LP in his confession. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines – The Liberal Party (LP) has been implicated in the reported attempt to kill high-value inmate Jaybee Sebastian.

Tomas Doniña, the inmate who stabbed Sebastian during a supposed riot inside Building 14 of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)’s maximum security compound on Sept. 28 last year, referred to the LP in his confession.

Doniña mentioned the LP in his five-page affidavit where he also implicated Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.

In his affidavit dated Oct. 8, 2016 released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) only yesterday, Doniña revealed that the order to kill Sebastian came from a former fellow officer in the Philippine Navy whom he did not name.

READ MORE...

Doniña claimed that his contact had been talking with Trillanes throughout their plan.

He said he was told that De Lima and Trillanes have joined forces to silence Sebastian to prevent him from testifying against De Lima in the House of Representatives inquiry over the alleged illegal drug trade at the NBP.

Doniña claimed that it was Sebastian who mentioned the LP during their conversation prior to the riot.

“Because Jaybee Sebastian and I have no personal grudge against each other, I advised him not to betray ma’am De Lima. At first, he said he would not betray her. He even said that the LP is strong,” Doniña said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II pointed out the obvious link of the LP to De Lima and Trillanes.

“We all know that Senator De Lima belongs to the LP and Senator Trillanes has been supportive of the party,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre, however, said that Doniña’s claims remained hearsay as there was no evidence to back up his story.

“De Lima and Trillanes were not charged because it appeared that the statements of Doniña were hearsay since he had no personal knowledge,” the DOJ chief said.

Aguirre also belied the reported statements of De Lima and Trillanes that he invented the allegations of Doniña to implicate them in the attack on Sebastian.

“I only brought up these allegations against them when the media asked me for updates on our investigation on threats against Jaybee. And the stabbing incident is related to these threats against him,” Aguirre explained.

Earlier, Aguirre disclosed that De Lima has been tagged in threats against Sebastian that led to his transfer from the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City to the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila last week.

Sebastian has claimed that he gave P14 million in drug money to De Lima’s alleged representatives – her former aide Jonel Sanchez and former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Bucayu – during her term as DOJ secretary.

Several other inmates corroborated Sebastian’s testimony and said they sold drugs through their contacts outside the prison to raise funds for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.

DUTERTE LABELED 'CORRUPT'

Meanwhile, President Duterte’s chief legal adviser slammed Trillanes for calling the Chief Executive “corrupt.”

Trillanes labeled Duterte as corrupt in an interview over dzMM yesterday morning, saying he would resign if his allegation is proven wrong.

During the campaign period, Trillanes accused Duterte of having more than P2 billion in bank transactions and undeclared properties. Duterte has denied the allegation.

Chief presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo said Trillanes may be describing himself when he used the term corrupt.

“Ask him. He should know. Maybe he should explain his suspicious visits to China during P-Noy (former president Benigno Aquino III)’s time,” Panelo added. – With Alexis Romero

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Kerwin Espinosa appears at DOJ to affirm claim of drug payoffs to De Lima Published January 6, 2017 5:14pm Updated January 6, 2017 6:16pm By VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News

Self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa went to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday to affirm his claim that Senator Leila De Lima got P8 million in drug payoffs to boost her election campaign kitty last year.

Escorted by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Espinosa subscribed to his extrajudicial confession which he first issued to the Senate when he appeared before an inquiry on the killing of his father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, last November.

That extrajudicial confession has been used by the NBI to file drug charges against him, De Lima, and the senator's former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan.

De Lima and Dayan skipped the preliminary investigation hearing of the DOJ panel led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, but the senator was represented by counsel Boni Tacardon.

The panel submitted the case for resolution and rejected the request of Espinosa and De Lima's camps to give them another 15 days to file their counter-affidavits.

Before handing down its decision, the panel gave the respondents until January 13 to submit their written defense, but the panel changed its mind after Tacardon said he would have to consult De Lima on the matter.

Tacardon also maintained that only the Office of the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over the complaints against government officials like De Lima.

Clarificatory questions were also posed to Espinosa, particularly on his meeting with De Lima in Baguio City sometime between November 19 to 22, 2015, where he and his common law wife had their photos taken with the former justice secretary.

Espinosa said he gave money to Dayan in several tranches from August 2015 to February 2016.

De Lima has denied the allegation, saying she does not know Espinosa and had never meet with him. However, the NBI said it was convinced that De Lima "benefited greatly" from the illegal drug trade.


Alleged Filipino drug lord Kerwin Espinosa

"Whether this amount was actually used in the furtherance of her political ambitions is immaterial, as what is essential in this case is the fact that she made a demand for the money and she indeed received the same," the complaint stated.

"Also immaterial is whether or not she personally or directly received the so-called campaign contributions with her own hands, because Dayan, by his own separate and independent admission, confessed that he was acting for and in her behalf, with her blessing and according to her instructions when he did receive the money for her," it added.

De Lima earlier said she was no longer surprised with the fifth drug complaint slapped against her before the DOJ as she is expecting more cases "in this continuing saga of madness and persecution."

Espinosa, on the other hand, felt otherwise.

"Na-surprise po ako pero tanggap ko naman po," he told reporters.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the DOJ will request for Espinosa's discharge as state witness should the prosecutors find probable cause to file the case in court. — KBK/RSJ, GMA News

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RELATED(2) FROM THE TRIBUNE

Leila says only Ombudsman has jurisdiction over her cases Written by Angie M. Rosales Saturday, 07 January 2017 00:00



Sen. Leila de Lima will not respond to any and all charges filed against her by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and vowed to respond only to charges filed against her by the Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is set to retire by July 2018.

She said it is only the Ombudsman who has jurisdiction over her charges, as it is the Omudsman who holds primary jurisdiction over her, a public official and is the proper forum for her to respond to charges leveled against her.

She added that she will not respond to the charges leveled against her by DoJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ll whom she called a “mediocre lawyer.”

BANKING ON OMBUDSMAN MORALES

De Lima is apparently banking on Ombudsman Morales, her chum and partner in their practice of selective justice, to dismiss all cases against her, if cases against her are brought before the Ombudsman. Both are yellow devotees.

The accused senator is facing six complaints, with four already filed, with the latest complaint, the sixth, up for resolution.

The sixth complaint has to do with illegal drug trafficking and her acceptance of drug money in the millions from drug lord KerwinEspinosa, who is now under the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) and corroborated by de Lima’s former driver-bodyguard-lover Ronnie Dayan, during a Senate hearing where he admitted that indeed, he had collected some P8 million from Espinosa in Baguio during the campaign period and delivered the money to de Lima.

DoJ has no jurisdiction, de Lima  says

The senator asserted that it is the Office of the Ombudsman and not the DoJ that has primary jurisdiction over cases involving public officials.

DE LIMA AS DOJ CHIEF VS GLORIA ARROYO

Yet de Lima herself, as the then Justice Secretary, filed a case of electoral sabotage against former President Gloria Arroyo, certainy a public official and an elected congresswoman, before the Pasay City Regional Court, and not the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a statement to the media, de Lima responded to Aguirre’s statements made Thursday who said the senator has already lost the opportunity to defend herself when she opted to skip the DoJ preliminary investigation last December on the four criminal complaints against her on her alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

“I do not need a mediocre lawyer like Aguirre telling me what I should be doing, when it appears he is not even capable of doing his own job as secretary of justice,” she said.

“He has transformed the DoJ into his very own personal persecution team, under the baton of the lord god and master of the Iglesia ni Duterte. The DoJ has not reached such lows until Aguirre became its Secretary,” she added.

Aguirre also asked Filipinos to pray for the senator instead, for her refusal to respond to the complaints lodged against her and her personal attacks against him, saying Aguirre is a stooge of President Rodrigo Duterte and that it is the president himself who is the brains behind the stabbing of her former fair haired convict from the national penitentiary, Jaybee Sebastian.

'IGLESIA NI DUTERTE'

“Aguirre is the high bishop of the Iglesia ni Duterte, and I don’t care for his prayers to his Poon (god) Duterte who in the first place, is the cause of all my persecution,” the senator said.

“So please Mr. Aguirre, do not include me in your prayers to your false god. Your god is not my God. Instead pray for your vanishing dignity. It is the least of your frailties, after your lying and fabrications, your false witnesses, your incompetence as a public official, your threats and intimidation on my former staff, your absolute arrogance and patent abuse of your power as a public official. You will be better off investigating the bribery allegations in one of your agencies involving your own fraternity brothers, rather than pursuing me with trumped-up charges,” she further said.

De Lima’s tirades were in retaliation to Aguirre saying that the senator, instead of facing the charges filed against her, has resorted to name calling.

“She can only come up with names for me like ‘despicable lying bastard, chronic liar and without balls.’

“It is indeed not the kind of conduct that the Filipino people expect from a public official of her stature. I can only pray for her. Please join me in praying for her,” he said.

Rody is brains behind stabbing, de Lima insists, without proof

The accused senator yesterday insisted, despite the denial issued by Aguirre that no less than Mr. Duterte was behind the alleged plot to kill convicted kidnapper Jaybee Sebastian during the reported “riot” inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) few months ago.

“I have my own sources, very credible ones, about who is behind that stabbing incident that victimized four of the ‘Bilibid 19’, including Sebastian and why they did that,” she said.

“It was the President himself who ordered the killing of Jaybee Sebastain, once the kingpin the NBP.
She said the Duterte order was implemented by his enforcers.”

As is her wont, de Lima alleges, but offers no proof, always claiming that her sources are reliable.

The senator’s reaction was in the wake of the challenge issued by Aguirre to prove her claims against the President and convince the public that she did not have a hand in the attempt on the life of Sebastian as earlier alleged by the latter’s supposed attacker.

Sebastian was allegedly being silenced by de Lima’s camp to prevent him from appearing in a congressional hearing investigating her supposed drug links and testify against her.

“Clearly, that’s one sure way of coercing Sebastian et al to testify and lie against me as they eventually did after such stabbing incident. They have the capacity and to do anything and everything, including downright criminal acts in order to implement and consummate a presidential vendetta to destroy de Lima at all costs,” she said.

That’s why it did not come as a surprise to her, de Lima said, when she learned about the filing of another set of charges against her, a second criminal complaint by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), before the DoJ in connection with her alleged alleged receipt of drug money from self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

“What else is new! I expected that already and I am expecting more cases in this continuing saga of madness and persecution!” she said.

“But this is my question: Why is it that when it comes to me, the full force of the the government is being used and the speed with thich to file cases against me? And it looks like the government will use as state witnesses drug lords like Espinosa and drug convicts just to indict me?,” she wailed.

“The real drug lords/convicts. These are big-time criminals, yet they are the ones absolved or to be absolved as long as it is de Lima who is charged and jailed! What travesty of truth and justice! And it’s the gravest form of selective justice being employed by the DoJ and NBI that we have not heard anymore about their supposed probe regarding the bribery or the extortion scandal at BI (Bureau of Immigration) involving two associate commissioners who are fraternity brothers of Aguirre and the President,” she said.

No legal obstacle to Kerwin as state witness

Senators do not see any legal obstacle having self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa in being placed under the full coverage of the WPP of the DoJ.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel is convinced that Espinosa, despite his admission of having been engaged in the illegal drugs trade in the past, is qualified to avail of such program.

“The concept involved in the WPP is ‘not the least guilty’ but ‘not the most guilty.’ The implication is different, ” he said in a text message to reporters when sought for his reaction on this development.

“At first I thought that Kerwin was the most guilty, hence, he’d cannot be accepted into the WPP. However, his testimony states that he gets his supply from someone else with even bigger operations. Hence, it can be said that Kerwin (Espinosa) is not the most guilty, hence, he may be accepted into the program,” he said.

Pimentel was referring to the testimony given them by Espinosa when he appeared in the hearings in the Senate last year when the committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson investigated the death of his father, the late Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

He claimed that while he peddled illegal substances, he was being supplied by major drug lords who, some are even already detained at the NBP.

It was one of the detained drug lords that led him to contact de Lima’s camp, in the hope of getting a bigger personality as “patron” in government.



Lacson, for his part, shared the position of the Senate chief, even adding that Espinosa’s admission into the WPP does not mean that he can no longer face criminal charges that may still be filed against him.

“Being admitted into the WPP is not a guarantee that a respondent is automatically off the hook. It is the judge who will decide later, during the trial proper, if he will qualify to be discharged as a state witness after a proper motion has been filed and the opposition has been heard,” he explained.

“The admission of Espinosa into the program is only in consideration of his physical security,” Lacson added.

Aguirre on Thursday announced that Espinosa now under the full coverage of the WPP and was admitted sometime before Christmas following his transfer to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Espinosa, besides confessing of engaging in drug operation while he was still inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) several years ago, also admitted of giving protection money to a number of ranking police officials, including former justice secretary and now Sen. Leila de Lima.

He claimed to have given De Lima at least P8 million through her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan sometime between late 2015 to early 2016 to help finance her senatorial campaign in the last May elections.
Leila: I have pending motion before Morales

De Lima informed Aguirre that the reason she did not file a counter-affidavit with the DoJ was that she has a pending motion for the referral to the Ombudsman of all her cases as it has primary jurisdiction and also due to the department’s supposed patent bias against her and its lack of objectivity.

“In the meantime, my legal team is in the process of preparing my counter-affidavit for eventual filing with the Ombudsman, aside from other legal remedies available to me,” she said.

“In any case, to Mr. Aguirre, please be aware that indeed I am preparing to answer your fabricated charges before the proper forum, but not before kangaroo tribunals like the House and the DoJ panel over which the President holds sway and to whom he dictates his whims.

“The proper forum is the Ombudsman, especially now that I have been assured with the prejudgment of the President, as mimicked by Aguirre, that I will never be accorded due process in any investigation conducted by the executive branch,” de Lima stressed


PHILSTAR

De Lima: DOJ chief fakes even his own hair By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 5, 2017 - 12:00am googleplus


De Lima said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who had accused her and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of instigating the riot to stop some inmates from testifying, should be the one held accountable as the NBP is under his supervision. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Leila de Lima refuted yesterday allegations that she was behind the riot at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in September last year that left one high-value inmate dead and injured several other convicts, who later testified against her in a congressional inquiry over her alleged involvement in the drug trade in NBP.

De Lima said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who had accused her and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of instigating the riot to stop some inmates from testifying, should be the one held accountable as the NBP is under his supervision.

READ MORE...

“Aguirre is lying. He is a chronic liar like his boss, and a secretary of justice without balls. What do you expect from a public official who fakes his own hair?” De Lima said in a statement, referring to Aguirre’s wig.

De Lima said it was President Duterte who ordered the riot to pressure the inmates, including Jaybee Sebastian, to testify against her during the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the drug trade in the NBP.

She said the allegation was in line with the propaganda thrust of the administration to pin all the blame on anybody except themselves.

“If I were responsible for the stabbing, it then seems that the NBP is run and managed by idiots who cannot protect high-value inmates staying inside the most guarded spot in Philippine prisons,” De Lima said.

She said Aguirre was exercising the powers of secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) without taking any responsibility for such exercise.

Aguirre has power and authority over the NBP but refuses to take responsibility for the stabbing of several high-profile inmates under his watch, De Lima said.

“Instead, he creates a convenient scapegoat in the person of two senators who were at least several kilometers away from the crime scene,” De Lima said.

Aguirre has Special Action Force members from the Philippine National Police securing the NBP “but blames two senators for the stabbing incident, instead of asking the PNP-SAF why they were sleeping in the noodle house during the so-called riot,” De Lima said.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Aguirre asks De Lima: Why so fixated on my hair? By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - Reporter / @T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net / 06:09 PM January 05, 2017


Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and Senator Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday asked Senator Leila de Lima why she is so fixated on his hair and at the same time he urged the public to join him in praying for the frailties of the senator.

“It’s a matter of genes,” Aguirre said referring to his hair which he said is more beautiful than that of De Lima.

“She is very much fixated [on] my hair. I could not do anything about my hair. But my hair is beautiful than hers,” Aguirre added.

De Lima earlier said that Aguirre has been faking evidence like his own hair.

READ: De Lima to Aguirre: Evidence against me is fake–like your wig

The justice chief said the senator is good at name-calling but not in responding to the complaints filed against her.

Aguirre reiterated his challenge to De Lima to produce proof that he has been faking evidence instead of resorting to name-calling.

Aguirre and President Rodrigo Duterte have been accused by De Lima of being behind the attempt to kill high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian last September inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Aguirre said the insinuation publicly made by De Lima has no basis.

“What will the President get if Sebastian is killed? If I were the President, I would want Sebastian to live so he could speak and divulge the truth,” he stressed.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) chief stressed that De Lima could not even produce a single witness or evidence to support her insinuation.

Aguirre believes that De Lima’s allegation could be a diversionary tactic since she is the one being implicated in the stabbing of Sebastian by the attacker himself—inmate Tomas Doniña.

“Who would have the motive to harm Jaybee (Sebastian)? Who is the one who has been worrying about Jaybee testifying? Is it really President Duterte?” he stressed.

The justice chief added that of the four complaints filed against her, De Lima has not filed any counteraffidavit.

“Instead of facing the charges filed against her with concrete evidence in the many opportunities given to her, she can only come up with names for me like a despicable lying bastard, a chronic liar, a Secretary of Justice without balls. It is indeed not the kind of conduct that the Filipino people expected from a public official of her stature,” he lamented.

READ: Combative De Lima calls Aguirre a lying bastard

“I can only pray for her. Please join me in praying for her,” the DOJ chief said. RAM/rga

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

De Lima hits Kerwin’s admission to WPP By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 8, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Sen. Leila de Lima has denounced the reported admission of drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to the Witness Protection Program (WPP), describing it as part of the political persecution the administration is doing against her. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Leila de Lima has denounced the reported admission of drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to the Witness Protection Program (WPP), describing it as part of the political persecution the administration is doing against her.

“In the first place, Espinosa does not qualify for the WPP because he is the most guilty in the drug operations, particularly in the Eastern Visayas region,” De Lima said.

A former justice secretary herself, she argued that the most important legal criterion in the WPP is the determination that “the prospective state witness must not appear to be the most guilty and not necessarily the least guilty.”

“Now, in the case of Kerwin Espinosa, based on the very story he has been forced to weave out of fear for his own life, he remains to be the most guilty as he is the one who is directly involved in the drug trade. There would be no alleged protectors, no alleged drug money, no alleged bagmen without someone running the drug trafficking operations,” she said.

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But even if Espinosa is not legally qualified for the WPP, De Lima said the Department of Justice (DOJ) has no qualms about twisting the law beyond recognition “because they don’t care about the law.”

She said the DOJ and the entire Duterte administration is doing everything they can to destroy her because of her continued criticism of the way the war against illegal drugs is being conducted.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“They don’t care about right and wrong. They only care about destroying the one person who is not afraid to stand up against the abuses being committed by the Duterte administration – be it about extrajudicial killings, the underhanded Marcos burial, the series of exonerations from criminal charges of those who helped Duterte during the campaign, the threats to put our nation under martial law, the corruption and destruction of the integrity of our institutions and all other manifestations of the authoritarian tendencies of this regime,” the lawmaker declared.

“This is not about justice. It has nothing to do with criminal prosecution and everything to do with political persecution,” she added.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II recently revealed that Espinosa, who said De Lima received P8 million in drug money to bolster her campaign in the last election, has been admitted to the WPP.

The senator has denied the allegation.

“They don’t care what erroneous and dangerous precedents they are setting. They are single-mindedly and myopically obsessed about destroying me. So much so that it’s quite possible that, at the end of the day, baka ako lang itira sa indictment (I might end up the only one left to indict), while all others, including the convicts in the other DOJ cases, would be declared qualified as state witnesses,” De Lima said.

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RELATED(3) FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Trillanes links to Sebastian probed: Witness implicates senator in NBP plot posted January 03, 2017 at 10:01 pm by Rey E. Requejo and Macon Ramos-Araneta


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

THE Justice Department is investigating allegations that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV may have something to do with the threats on the life of Jaybee Sebastian, the inmate who has accused Senator Leila de Lima of taking money from drug lords jailed in the national penitentiary.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II made this disclosure Tuesday after another inmate, Tomas Donina, filed an affidavit saying that a former colleague from the Navy asked him to help silence Sebastian to stop him from speaking against De Lima.

Donina stabbed Sebastian during a riot inside the New Bilibid Prison on Sept. 28, 2016, but Sebastian survived the attack.

“He [Donina] mentioned the participation of Trillanes and De Lima in his affidavit,” Aguirre said in a media briefing.

He did not identify the naval officer who ordered Sebastian’s killing, however.

READ MORE...

Informed of Aguirre’s claim, Trillanes denied accusations he was involved in the incident.

“I categorically deny any involvement in the stabbing incident of JB Sebastian. Why would I even do that?” said Trillanes in a text message to reporters, branding Aguirre’s statement as “totally absurd.”

“Anyway, Aguirre and his gang better get their stories straight because we will have a full blown Senate inquiry to get the truth out,” warned Trillanes.

Aguirre admitted the allegations implicating Trillanes and De Lima to the incident were not backed by sufficient evidence but said he was convinced of the threat on Sebastian’s life and this was the reason he was transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation detention facility in Manila.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez supported the assertion of Aguirre that there are persons who want to silence Sebastian, who had earlier told the House justice committee that De Lima collected drug money from drug lords in Bilibid to bankroll her senatorial run in the last elections.

De Lima already denied that she had anything to do with the stabbing incident.

Aguirre acknowledged that Donina did not provide any proof to substantiate his claim, which was why the police did not include Trillanes or De Lima in the charges for the attack on Sebastian.

“There is no evidence to pursue a case against the senators named,” Aguirre said.

He also noted that Donina’s stabbing of Sebastian on Sept. 28 was separate and unrelated to a stabbing attack carried out by inmates Clarence Dongail and Edgar Cinco on convicted drug lords Tony Co and Peter Co, which killed only Tony.

Earlier, Aguirre said De Lima had been tagged in threats against Sebastian that led to his transfer from the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City to the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila City last week.

On Oct. 10, Sebastian testified before the House that De Lima took P14 million in drug payments through her former aide, Joenel Sanchez and former Bureau of Correction director Franklin Bucayu, during her tenure as Justice secretary in the previous administration.

Several other inmates corroborated his testimony and said they sold drugs through their contacts outside the prison to raise funds for De Lima in her senatorial campaign.

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IRELATED(4) FROM THE NQUIRER

De Lima asks Duterte: How much have you spent in persecuting me? Senator also slams Aguirre: He has no real hair left, has no balls By: Tarra Quismundo - Reporter / @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:30 PM January 04, 2017


Senator Leila de Lima and President Rodrigo Duterte. JOAN BONDOC / INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA — Senator Leila de Lima challenged President Duterte on Wednesday, to specify how much in government money he has spent in efforts to destroy her name, noting the “shady characters” behind the revelations against her.

“My question now is, I want to know from the President or from anyone: how much are you spending in the operations against me? It’s is not possible that all of those are for free,” she said.

She noted that she has been slapped with a total 16 cases so far, including criminal charges and disbarment complaints.

De Lima aired the challenge to the President after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II linked her and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to the stabbing of kidnap convict and alleged drug lord Jaybee Sebastian at the national penitentiary in September.

READ MORE...

De Lima had only harsh words for Aguirre, saying that if he could fake his own hair, how much more his words?

“Aguirre is lying. He is a chronic liar like his boss, and a Secretary of Justice without balls. What do you expect from a public official who fakes his own hair?,” De Lima, among the administration’s fiercest critics, said in a statement.

TIRADES ON AGUIRRE

She later expounded on this in a presser, having choice words for Aguirre, among administration officials tagging her in the drug trade.

De Lima has repeatedly denied accusations that she had taken drug money from the illicit trade at the New Bilibid Prisons during her time as justice secretary purportedly to fund her senatorial bid.

“It’s the new year, and it’s again the start of their lies. I’m afraid our Secretary of Justice is such a lying bastard, a despicable lying bastard. What is this again? This is laughable!,” De Lima told reporters.

“Is Secretary Aguirre already taking fentanyl?,” said the senator, in reference to the powerful pain killer that President Duterte had recently admitted to taking some years back.

De Lima added President Duterte and his “operators” were the ones behind the plot to intimidate Sebastian into testifying against her before the House committee on justice investigation into the Bilibid drug trade.

He appeared about two weeks later at the House of Representatives and told lawmakers that he had given a total of P14 million to De Lima’s campaign. In November, he filed charges of graft, bribery, ethical breaches and violations of the Anti-Torture Act against De Lima.

Sebastian followed a roster of high-profile Bilibid inmates who also testified against De Lima at the House probe.

DUTERTE ORDERED STABBING, TORTURE OF INMATES - DE LIMA

“The fact is it is Duterte and his cohorts who ordered the stabbing and also the torture of inmates who refused to testify against me,” De Lima said.

She hit Aguirre for failing to take responsibility for the Bilibid stabbing that happened during his watch, where inmate Tony Co was killed, while Sebastian and two other inmates were hurt.

“Aguirre is exercising all powers of a DOJ secretary without taking any responsibility for such exercise. He has power and authority as DOJ secretary over the Bilibid but refuses to take responsibility for the stabbing of several high profile inmates under his watch,” De Lima said.

“Instead, he creates a convenient scapegoat in the person of two senators who were at least several kilometers away from the crime scene,” she added in her statement.

She appealed to her accusers to “be stricken by their conscience” and “end the burden” she has been carrying since first being tagged in the drug trade by no less than President Duterte in August. SFM

VIDEO: DUTERTE ON DE LIMA US AWARD

 
https://youtu.be/0rVuzc5fJX0?t=72
Duterte scoffs at De Lima's award, names new drug personalities INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net


TRIBUNE

De Lima, Trillanes tag Rody behind NBP plot Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 05 January 2017 00:00



The anti-Duterte duo in the Senate, Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV saw a Palace conspiracy in their being tagged as the real culprits behind the attempt on the life of high-profile convict Jaybee Sebastian in allegedly staging a riot inside the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) last September.

De Lima even pointed to Mr. Duterte as the official really behind the plot to silence Sebastian.

Asked by reporters who could have been out to silence Sebastian, de Lima did not mince words in pointing to the President, saying that the alleged plot was actually just to soften up the convict who was initially adamant against testifying against her in the House investigations into the NBP narcotics scandal.

“It was the President himself. That would not have happened without the blessing from above or through his operators. He has enforcers. He has operators. So I would like to ask how much have you (Duterte) spent in your campaign to satisfy your obsession of me?” she asked.“All those making up the stories against me and led by no less than our President who had indicated that he wanted me destroyed and that I will surely land in jail, that I am the drug trade queen and the leading narco-politician,” she said.

READ MORE...

Aguirre’s latest claims, which are supposedly loosely based on the affidavit of another convict who stabbed Sebastian, are a mere fabrication upon “orders of the President,” said de Lima.

“At the onset of the new year, they started again with spreading their lies. You know, I’m afraid that our Secretary of Justice is such a lying bastard, a despicable, lying bastard. He is trying to make me out as as a very powerful individual who has control or even order inmates to stab fellow inmates in what is supposed to be the most guarded facility,” she said.

The senator said she and Trillanes would not have wanted to silence Sebastian as there was no need for it as the latter does not really want to appear in the congressional hearing to testify against her.

“That one I exposed that time that he did not want to testify because that’s my information from very reliable sources based on the text messages of the wife. So what motive would we have against Jaybee Sebastian who can even help in testifying about the reality of my alleged drug links,” she said.

Trillanes claims harassment

Trillanes echoed the claims of his colleague saying the issue is but another political harassment to discourage him from continuously attacking the administration for its excesses.

“It is a clear political harassment to silence me. What is happening is that they are trying to turn the tables on the mess that they have created,” he said.

Trillanes vowed to have Aguirre testify before the Senate, as he and de Lima have a pending resolution in the upper chamber referred to the committee on justice and human rights, to look into the said NBP riot and attest to the veracity of his claims.

“I categorically deny involvement in the stabbing incident. It is a huge lie. You know the DoJ of Aguirre, came up with a new script since they can’t find anything against me,” he said.

Trillanes is referring to Resolution 174 which seeks the conduct of an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the riot incident in NBP is with the end view of enacting remedial legislation that would prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.

“This January , their six months deadline has ended. We will start demanding results since many promises were not met,” he said.

De Lima said the issue on Sebastian stabbing incident was in line with the propaganda thrust of the Duterte administration to pin all the blame on them.

“If I were responsible for the stabbing, it then seems that the NBP (New Bilibid Prison) is run and managed by idiots who can’t protect high profile inmates staying inside the most guarded spot in Philippine prisons,” she said.

“(Justice Secretary Vitaliano) Aguirre is lying. He is a chronic liar like his boss and a secretary of justice without balls. What do you expect from a public official who fakes his own hair?” she asked.

The senator said Aguirre is exercising all powers as a secretary without taking any responsibility for such exercise.

“He has power and authority as DoJ secretary over the Bilibid but refuses to take responsibility for the stabbing of several high profile inmates under his watch,” she said.

Instead, de Lima said, Aguirre opted to have convenient scapegoats in the person of two senators who were at least several kilometers away from the crime scene.

“He has PNP (Philippine National Police) Special Action Forces holding sway over Bilibid but blames two senators for the stabbing incident instead of asking the PNP SAF why they were sleeping at the noodle house during the so-called riot,” De Lima said.

“Or was it just a simple case of a state-sanctioned assassination and EJK (extrajudicial killing) albeit frustrated, of a high profile inmate who initially refused to testify against me but who decided to sing like a bird after he is almost killed by fellow inmates-turned-state-assassins?” she asked.

“The fact is it is Duterte and his cohorts who ordered the stabbing and also the torture of inmates who refused to testify against me,” de Lima said.

De Lima, however, again failed to prop up her allegations with an iota of evidence.

Look who’s talking — Palace



A senior Palace official also slammed Trillanes’ latest diatribe on Mr. Duterte claiming that he is allegedly “corrupt”.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said that Trillanes should check out his own record before taking a jab at the President’s reputation.

“Senator Trillanes could be referring to himself when he described the President as corrupt,” Panelo told reporters in a chance interview with reporters.

Panelo gave hints of a possible controversy that would boomerang on Trillanes’ face.

“Why am I saying that (Trillanes) is corrupt? Ask him. He should know. Maybe he should explain his suspicious visits to China during former (President Noynoy Aquino’s) time,” he said.

In the previous administration, Trillanes was exposed as Aquino’s backdoor envoy to Beijing regarding territorial matters over the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

Trillanes, in an earlier radio interview with dzMM, said that Mr. Duterte was not doing anything against corruption saying that he himself is one.

“The reason he (Duterte) is not doing anything against corruption is that he himself is corrupt. President Duterte is corrupt,” the Senator said, reiterating his challenge to the President to be transparent in his alleged suspicious bank transactions first exposed during the campaign season last year noting that it contains some P2 billion.

Barely a week before the election day, then vice presidential bet Trillanes came out with an allegation that then candidate Duterte did not declare P211 million in his 2014 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

According to Trillanes, Duterte has a joint bank account with his daughter now Davao City Vice Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)-Julia Vargas branch in Pasig City that contained more than P200 million.

MAYOR DUTERTE

In then Davao City Mayor Duterte’s 2014 SALN, he has a net worth of P21,971,732.62—assets worth P22,971,732.62 and a liability of P1 million which is a personal loan.

Claiming that he is being “politically harassed” by the administration, Trillanes said that Mr. Duterte is a failure who keeps on deceiving the people.

“We will remind the Filipinos on these lies, these promises they made. (Duterte’s men) rounded the heads of our countrymen, deceived them in the last six months,” he said.

Moreover, Panelo said that Trillanes should man up and quit the Senate, saying that he does not deserve to be a senator in the first place.

“(Trillanes) doesn’t have to wait for that. He is undeserving of a Senate seat. He should resign now,” Panelo said.

“May you have more nightmares to come,” the President’s top lawyer wished the opposition Senator for what is likely another word war erupting this year.

Leila distrusts peers

De Lima, meanwhile, cast doubts on the integrity of her own peers who will handle the ethics cases against her given what she claimed as “hostility” towards her by some colleagues at the height of the upper chamber investigation on extrajudicial killings (EJK) and some other issues.

“I have to be honest, I’m not sure about some of them. I don’t have to name names because I don’t want to create unnecessary tensionsbut based on their statements, on and off the Senate hall and in media, showed somehow their hostility against me. Some of them, not all,” she said.

While some have repeatedly assured impartiality in investigating and in “judging” de Lima in the end, the senator admitted that she would want some of them to voluntarily inhibit themselves from the proceedings.

“I’m hoping and praying that first, they should hear me out, listen to my explanation, hear my side because I’ll express what I want to express and hopefully they would be sincere in addressing the matter and exhibit a high sense of fairness and objectivity,” she said.

“I hope some of them would voluntarily inhibit,” De Lima added.

“I’m aware of (their statements against me but) I’m giving them the benefit of doubt,” she added.

ETHIS COMMITTEE

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, concurrent chairman of the ethics and privileges committee, had earlier said that he will try to start the proceedings on the complaints filed against de Lima this month and come up with a resolution whether his committee has jurisdiction in proceeding with the hearing of the cases, subject to the approval of his members.

Members of the ethics committee included Senators Panfilo Lacson, Gregorio Honasan, Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

Ex-officio members are Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon and Minority Leader Ralph Recto.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Kerwin: Leila got P8-m drug payoff posted January 06, 2017 at 10:01 pm by Rey E. Requejo and Macon Ramos-Araneta


Senator Leila de Lima , Kerwin Espinosa

SELF-CONFESSED drug lord Kerwin Espinosa went to the Justice Department Friday to affirm his claim that he gave Senator Leila de Lima P8 million in payoffs to use in her election campaign last year.

Escorted by National Bureau of Investigation agents, Espinosa subscribed to the confession that he issued when he appeared before a Senate inquiry on the killing of his father, Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa in November 2016.

That confession has been used by the NBI to file drug charges against him, De Lima, and the senator’s former driver and lover, Ronnie Dayan.

De Lima and Dayan skipped the preliminary investigation hearing of the Justice Department, but the senator was represented by her lawyer, Boni Tacardon.

The panel submitted the case for resolution and rejected the request of Espinosa and De Lima for another 15 days to file their counter-affidavits.

The panel gave the respondents until Jan. 13 to submit their written defense, but changed its mind after Tacardon said he would have to consult De Lima.

Questions were also posed to Espinosa, particularly on his meeting with De Lima in Baguio City sometime between Nov. 19 and 22, 2015, where he and his common-law wife had their photos taken with the former Justice secretary.

Espinosa said he gave money to Dayan in several tranches from August 2015 to February 2016.

De Lima has denied the allegation, saying she does not know Espinosa and had never meet with him.

However, the NBI said it was convinced that De Lima “benefited greatly” from the illegal drug trade.

“Whether this amount was actually used in the furtherance of her political ambitions is immaterial, as what is essential in this case is the fact that she made a demand for the money and she indeed received the same,” the complaint stated.

“Also immaterial is whether or not she personally or directly received the so-called campaign contributions with her own hands, because Dayan, by his own separate and independent admission, confessed that he was acting for and in her behalf, with her blessing and according to her instructions when he did receive the money for her,” it added.

Tacardon questioned the jurisdiction of the Justice Department panel.

The senator, in an omnibus motion, argued that the Ombudsman has the jurisdiction over public officials like her.

She also asked the panel to inhibit itself from handling the case.

“If ever my motion will be denied, then we can take the necessary legal steps by preparing the counter-affidavit of Senator De Lima or raising the matter on appeal,” Tacardon told the panel.

But the panel, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, said that if Espinosa would no longer change his affidavit, there would no longer be any change to the case.

“Then we will proceed to resolve the case,” Ong said.


DOJ CHIEF AGUIRRE

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier said Espinosa was accepted into the witness protection program in December and his department would seek his discharge as a state witness.

De Lima on Friday called Aguirre the “high bishop of the Iglesia ni Duterte” and said she didn’t care for his prayers.

She was reacting to Aguirre’s statement that he would pray for De Lima’s “frailties” that caused her problems.

“Your god is not my God,” said De Lima who also accused Aguirre of transforming the Justice Department into his very own personal persecution team, under “the baton of the lord god and master of the Iglesia ni Duterte.”

“The DoJ has not reached such lows until Aguirre became its secretary,” De Lima said.

Instead of praying for her, she said Aguirre should pray for his vanishing dignity.

“It is the least of your frailties, after your lying and fabrications, your false witnesses, your incompetence as a public official, your threats and intimidation on my former staff, your absolute arrogance and patent abuse of your power as a public official,” said De Lima.

She also suggested that Aguirre will be better off investigating the bribery allegations in one of her agencies involving his own fraternity brothers, rather than pursuing her with trumped-up charges.

De Lima asserted that the Ombudsman, not the Justice Department, was the proper forum to hear the charges against her.

“Mr. Aguirre, please be aware that indeed I am preparing to answer your fabricated charges before the proper forum, but not before kangaroo tribunals like the House and the DoJ panel over which the President holds sway and to whom he dictates his whims,” she said.

Given Aguirre’s prejudgment of her case, she said she would never be accorded due process by the executive branch.

“I do not need a mediocre lawyer like Aguirre telling me what I should be doing, when it appears he is not even capable of doing his own job as secretary of Justice,” she added.


GMA  NEWS NETWORK

Sotto once again assures fair ethics probe on De Lima Published January 5, 2017 11:26am By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Thursday again assured fairness in handling the ethics complaints against Senator Leila de Lima.

“As chair, I will make sure we are fair,” Sotto said in a text message when sought for comment over De Lima’s remarks that colleagues who are “hostile” to her should “inhibit” from the ethics probe.

Sotto is the chairman of the Senate ethics committee.

“To inhibit work both ways, let’s ask friendlies to inhibit too?” Sotto added.

On Wednesday, De Lima said some senators have shown “hostility” against her inside and outside the Senate.

De Lima said she was hoping that members of the ethics panel, where she is facing three complaints, will hear her side.

READ MORE...

“I’ll express what I want to express and sana sinsero sila in addressing the matter and exhibit a high sense of fairness and objectivity,” De Lima said.

She said however that senators who feel that their judgment may be compromised should voluntarily inhibit themselves from the probe.

In a separate text message, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said he will decide based on the evidence presented to the committee.

Within the week, Escudero said he will go over the complaint filed by several House leaders against De Lima for supposedly violating the law and the rules of Congress.

“Regardless of what is contained in the complaint, [I] will decide based on the law and the evidence that will be presented by both parties,” Escudero, a member of the ethics panel, said.

Three congressmen lead by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez accused De Lima of violating the Revised Penal Code when she advised her former driver and lover, Ronnie Dayan, to snub a congressional probe.

The Senate ethics committee has yet to call a hearing on the said complaint. Senate will resume session on January 16. — VVP, GMA News

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Senate may convene into a committee of the whole to tackle the ethics complaint against Senator Leila –Sotto By: Maila Ager - Reporter / @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net / 12:36 PM January 05, 2017

The Senate may convene into a committee of the whole to tackle the ethics complaint against Senator Leila de Lima should there be questions on the impartiality of a panel tasked to handle the case, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Thursday.

Sotto said the convening of a committee of the whole is just one option available to him as chairman of the Senate committee on ethics tasked to look into the complaint filed against De Lima by leaders of the House of Representatives.

The complaint stemmed from De Lima’s advice to her former aide and partner Ronnie Dayan not to attend the House probe on the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice Secretary.

READ MORE...

“As chair, I will make sure we are fair,” Sotto said in a text message when sought for comment on De Lima’s appeal for fairness from her peers in the committee.

READ: De Lima appeals for fairness from peers

And on De Lima’s statement that those affected by allegations against her should inhibit from the ethics hearing, Sotto said the call for inhibition should work both ways.

“Shall we ask friendlies to inhibit too?” he asked.

“If and when the committee is allegedly compromised either way, I have the option to bring it to plenary to act as a committee of the whole. I have many options,” the Majority Leader added.

De Lima earlier admitted that she was “not sure” about the fairness of some of her peers, noting that some of them have shown “hostility” to her.

“I have to be honest, I’m not sure about some of them, because some of them have shown some hostility against me lalo na nung ongoing pa lang yung hearings, yung sa Matobato hearings, yung sa mga ganun (especially when the hearings on Matobato were ongoing) and some other issues,” she said in an interview at the Senate Wednesday.

She was referring to confessed assassin Edgar Matobato, who has testified in the Senate accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of allegedly ordering the killings of some people in Davao City when he was still its mayor. CDG/rga

READ: De Lima hopes ‘hostile’ peers will inhibit from ethics hearing


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